Overcoming By Faith

Hebrews 11:33-34
Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,  Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

So, then, what kinds of things are we dealing with?  What challenges do we face?  A battle, a lion, a fire, a sword?  These things were all overcome by faith.  Simple faith, really.  These were all just ordinary people, though sometimes in extraordinary circumstances, who relied on an Almighty God.  These were people of flesh and blood who came through some very trying things because they knew God was with them and could do what they couldn’t.  It was regular people getting to a place where they knew God well enough to let go of who they were and rely on who He is.

And we can talk about wanting more faith and wanting to grow our faith, and it is good to desire that.  But faith is not some mysterious kind of magical power that we can put in a pouch and pull out when we need it.  The power comes from who our faith is in.  The power comes from knowing God and knowing He is able.  If we wanted to cross the ocean, we wouldn’t have much confidence if our vessel was a barrel with a paddle, but if we had a big ship, our confidence that we’ll make it across increases exponentially.  It matters what we’re depending on, and so why do we so often try to make it on our own, as likely to sink as that barrel in the ocean?

So when we understand that first and most important step, then the rest doesn’t matter as much.  This list is just a sampling of what faith in God can do, but what an encouragement it should be to us that such things could be done at all.  How can we not  be encouraged when we think of these men and women winning battles in impossible situations—Daniel sitting with the lions and young David going out with his sling and walls falling down and victories of all kinds won with finality?  That is our God at work.  That is what our God can do, and He can do it in our lives.

Are we going to trust God?  That is really what it comes down to.  That is the crux of everything in our lives.  Because no matter how long we can skate along that surface, we’re going to eventually come to a place where the water gets deeper.  We’re going to get to a wall or a giant or an army, and what we have isn’t going to be enough.  But when we march behind Jehovah, when we hear that still small voice and obey, when we depend on Him when we can’t see a way out, we can add our names to the list of those who overcame because of their faith in God.

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